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Splatoon 3: how to play with friends

Online gaming has been around for decades, though it is slightly newer for console players. Really only gaining traction with Xbox Live back in the early 2000s, it has since become a staple in just about every game with a multiplayer component to let you connect to your friends online to play together, or against, one another in your favorite games. Nintendo, however, has been a bit slower in adopting many of the standards and quality-of-life improvements made in this space.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Nintendo Online

With Splatoon 3, Nintendo has taken the most steps forward in creating an easy, seamless experience for playing online yet. That being said, the state of attempting to play with friends in prior games was frustrating at best, so any improvement would be welcome. We're glad to say that playing with friends in Splatoon 3 is the easiest it's ever been, but it's not quite as intuitive as you would expect if you play on other platforms. To save you and your squad some time, here's how to play with friends in Splatoon 3.

A team of Inklings in the air.

How to play with friends

There are a few things you need to do on your own before you can start joining up with friends, but once they're all taken care of, you have a couple of different options for gathering your friends together for some colorful fun.

Step 1: Play your first Turf War match and reach level two.

Step 2: Go to the lobby terminal and create your Splashtag.

Step 3: Make sure your console's Friend Settings has your display status set to All Friends.

Step 4: To play with friends already playing Splatoon 3, find their name in the lobby menu or locate their character avatar in the lobby.

Step 5: Select them, and you will join their match in progress, but you won't necessarily be on their team.

Four Splatoon 3 inklings standing together.

How to create a room with friends

The prior method works very similarly to how it did in Splatoon 2, which had the main issue of not guaranteeing you would be on the same team as your friends. The best aspect of Splatoon 3 is that they alleviated this issue thanks to rooms.

Step 1: Open the Lobby menu and go to the Friends tab.

Step 2: Hit Y to create a room, and set a password if you wish.

Step 3: Friends can start joining right away, or you can send notifications to your friends on the friend list or by interacting with their avatar in the lobby.

An inkling stands on a tower in Salmon Run in Splatoon 3.

How to play with friends in Private Battles

While you won't be able to earn any rewards like in a normal match, if you have a group of two or more that just want to duke it out in a private match, Splatoon 3 offers such a mode.

Step 1: Create a room following the same steps listed above.

Step 2: Get at least two people (including yourself), with a maximum of 10, into the room.

Step 3: Select Private Battle from the list of modes.

Step 4: Pick the map, mode, and which players will be on which teams.

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